This program features two stories about extreme love, hosted by Cynthia Nixon. In “Magic and Dread,” an excerpt from Jenny Offill’s novel Dept. of Speculation, a new mother is exhausted and exhilarated by the life she has brought into the world, and what she learns about herself as she adapts to motherhood. Offill’s other works include the novel Last Things, and, naturally, several children’s books. The reader is performance artist Kaneza Schaal, who has appeared with Elevator Repair Service and the Wooster Group among other companies. Her works include “Please Bury Me,” “Go Forth,” and the forthcoming “Jack&Jill.” “Magic and Dread” was performed at the North Bergen Public Library.
Next, Broadway star BD Wong reads the story of the doomed love affair between a Trojan warrior and Dido, the Queen of Carthage, from Virgil’s Aeneid. Epic poetry is where we got our template for stories about tempestuous romantic women, handsome guys, and heartache.